Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

September 6, 1999

Do it yourself

Among the most fun parts of hunting, especially waterfowl hunting, are all the gadgets, tricks, tools, and gimmicks that go with the sport.

From the thousands of items you can buy through catalogs, stores, and Web sites to all the gadgets do-it-yourself hunters have invented and made just for themselves, there is almost no limit to the stuff.

Throw in new global positioning system gear, computerized digital mapping, and other new technology, and the toy box gets even bigger.

The big question here for most hunters, especially those with more time than money, is, do you fork over the buck and buy it, or do your best and make it yourself?

In my case, especially when I was younger, I did it myself. Ice fishing tip-ups made from old hockey sticks and springs, spearing decoys carved and painted, to dog trailers, boxes, duck hunting blinds, goose decoys, and reloading shotgun shells.

One time, being in college and very short on cash, I mixed about six different kinds of old paint from my dad's garage to paint my duck boat.

The color was a little closer to pink than dead grass tan when I got done, but the boat didn't glare in the sun and was camouflaged good enough to fool a few ducks with the help of some borrowed decoys.

For many hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, inventing and making that gadget themselves is more sanctifying and a heck of a lot more fun than buying it.

Often, the process of preparing, inventing, and creating is more time-consuming and more fun than the actual outdoor event.

My latest adventure in outdoor ingenuity has been inventing and building an interior rack for my truck topper that will allow me to efficiently use the space just under the roof of the rig.

After a few different trials with epoxies and glues, the rack system is in and working well. The first time I put it in, it fell down when I hung my heavy duty rain gear and a few fishing rods on it.

On a final note, if it makes sense and you can make something with a few odds and ends or with some help from your buddies, build it instead of buying it, it's a lot more fun.

If it doesn't make sense, try building it anyway, then buy it.

Quack, quack, it's back

The Winsted Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its 16th annual banquet on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted.

The quacking hour begins at 6 p.m., with feeding at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Blue Note. For more information, call Chip Biske at 320-485-3885.

Outdoor notes

  • The fishing on our area lakes is starting to pick up and as fall approaches, the fishing will get much better. A good bet right now is to troll for northern pike. For lunkers, head to Mille Lacs and troll the bays and weedlines with large spoons.
  • Minnesota's Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day is set for Saturday, Sept. 18. The small game hunting season and the archery deer season also opens Sept. 18.
  • Don't forget to buy your 1999 hunting licenses and appropriate stamps.
  • The September Canada goose season opened Sept. 4. Good luck to all the hunters.
  • Read and review the 1999 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook; also include one in your hunting gear.

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